The Asylum Interviews: Bronx/Trixie by Jocelynn Drake
(The Asylum Tales #0.5/#0.6) | Harper Voyager (2012)
Ebook, 100 pages | Urban Fantasy
In the run up to the release of the first novel in a new series, Angel’s Ink (The Asylum Tales #1), Jocelynn Drake realeaed two ebook prequel novella’s. What follows are my reviews of each of the books.
THE AYSLUM INTERVIEWS: BRONX
For a 100 page novella, Drake has created a short story that is both entertaining and complex. Not once did I feel as if this was a “deleted” scene from her forthcoming full length novel, Angel’s Ink. This was very much a taster for things to come.
The story is very fast paced, opening in of all places, the ladies bathrooms in a club. The overall plot of the story is all about how Gage, a warlock who is trying not to use magic for fear of being executed by his ex-superiors, tries to fix a tattoo that is causing his best friend Parker, an incubi, to make everyone hump like bunnies in spring.
Though this is the main plotline, the subplot seems to be how the troll Bronx, ends up getting a job in Gage’s tattoo parlor, Asylum Ink.
The characters are all very complex and I instantly warmed to the lead. To me, he sounds like he has a lot in common with another literary wizard named Harry Dresden. Both are trying to keep their noses clean with their respective ruling councils. Both end up getting in over their heads when trying to help their friends. Yet, Gage is trying to hide his abilities for reasons that are not made clear. It is hinted that he disagreed over something with the Ivory Tower (the place where all warlocks and witches study from what I can gather). Gage is also under some sort of probation where he is not allowed to use his abilities unless it’s for self defence. This hinders his ability to attack or use his powers to locate Parker, when he goes missing.
From what I can gather, the purpose of this story is to show you how Bronx came to work for Gage, especially as Troll’s and Warlocks don’t normally mix well. Bronx is very much an enigma throughout the story. We know that he has left his previous employer because he was worried he would lose his license.
When I read the description of him, all I could keep thinking of was the late actor Michael Clark Duncan, from the Green Mile. He comes across as a big guy, but with a lot of depth and secrets. He also seems like the type of character who would be your friend from life. Bronx is the Ying to Gages Yang. The Brawn to Gage’s Brains.
This is a great introduction to a new series and I really enjoyed this short a lot. Sometimes you can feel short-changed with small novella’s but this is one book that has a story that is self-contained enough to stand alone, but also leaves you anticipating the novel.
THE AYSLUM INTERVIEWS: TRIXIE
Like the previous novella, this one is just as action packed and tightly written. This time the main subject is a Pixie, named Trixie who is hiding her real identity under a glamour. By the end of the book we are still unclear on why she is doing this. I have a feeling that this may be explored further in the series.
Trixie is introduced to Gage through an ex-girlfriend named Jo, who just happens to be a vampire. As what is becoming the norm, Gage is dragged into other people’s problems. This time Trixie uses the job interview to voice her concerns about the nest that Jo is a member of.
It seems the leader of the nest is an abusive jerk and he seems to be keeping a very tight leash on Jo. Trixie mentions the fact that Jo has been punished for meeting and talking to her. Gage being the chivalrous bloke that he is, vows to free Jo from her nest. This isn’t without its complications all tied with the way vampires are regulated.
Trixie comes off as aloof at first, but I really ended up liking her. It was really sweet that she put Jo’s interests over her own. She even makes a sacrifice in order to try and save Jo, when she thinks that Gage won’t succeed.
The story didn’t end how I expected it to and I do suspect that there will be ramifications in the future. What these will be, I don’t know. What I do know is that this is another brilliant short.
Both of these novella’s could stand as individual stories. Drake introduces her new series by providing enough details to keep you satisfied with the conclusion of the plots, but still leaves you hungry for more. Every character in the two novella’s seemed to pop of the pages. Each one had their own personality and flaws, which is difficult to achieve in this length of book.
To be honest, I had expected this to be an Urban Fantasy series with a female lead, so it was really surprising to find that it was actually a male. I can see this series giving Jim Butchers Harry Dresden series a run for its money. For 99p each these are brilliant little shorts.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
#0.5 The Asylum Interviews: Bronx
#0.6 The Asylum Interviews: Trixie
#1 Angels Ink
BUY YOUR COPY: Bronx
BUY YOUR COPY: Trixie